Monday, December 26, 2022

Day 25 - Belated

 Belated Christmas greetings to everyone!

DH, SIL, and I had a quiet, unremarkable Christmas Day and somehow time got away from me so no post.  What WAS remarkable is that Son-1 made the 2-hour drive up to the Plateau to deliver the box of gifts from Son-2 that we forgot to load into our vehicle on Saturday when we were in Nashville.

We emptied our stockings, had lunch, opened gifts, watched football, and had a turkey breast cooked in one of my gifted pans.

I had hinted to Son-2 that I might like some half-sheet pans to which he added the half roasting pan and several small loaf pans -- all perfect when cooking for two as he has learned now that they have an empty nest.

The Advent Tree yielded its last surprise, a Christmas Greeting.

What a fun adventure this has been!

Apologies - I have been negligent in responding to those who have faithfully commented on my daily posts this month.  I wish you all the best for the New Year.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Day 24 - Oh, Happy Day

It all began about 5 a.m. Friday morning after a light snow and below-zero temps -- the power would blip but come right back on.  We'd have about 5 minutes of power, just long enough to reset the internet and TV (both Comcast) and reset the clocks on the kitchen appliances (I finally gave up on that) and for the furnaces to recover, and then BLIP again!  And we were not the only ones; it affected our entire street.  This went on all day and through the night. Fortunately we have a couple of portable heaters (that we were constantly restarting) to get us through the night. By the time we left for Nashville Saturday morning the in-house temperature was 56!

Not knowing what the day would hold here at the homeplace, we headed for Nashville on Saturday to celebrate Christmas with Son and DIL, their boys and wives (our grands), the one great and my SIL.   

What a motley crew!  Hay, it was frigid and we were all just lucky to get there!

I'm happy to report the roads were mostly clear and we had no travel issues.  And we returned to a house registering 72 degrees inside!   HAPPY DAY, indeed!

But wait, there's more.  We had a beautiful day with the family, catching up with the greats and enjoying the grand.  

... along with another fun fridge magnet in the Advent tree when we got home.

BTW, someone asked if the Advent Tree is an original design and the answer is No.  It is a pattern designed by someone for the Cricut machine.  GDIL selected her own papers and assembled the drawers that made up the tree.  She also used the Cricut machine to engrave and cut this acrylic ornament

The miracles of modern science.  Oh Happy Day!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Day 23 - Trying to stay warm

Today's treat was a toy and a candy.

Yesterday we went from 40+ to 0 overnight with high winds and a dusting of snow.  Today we've been in the negative degrees most of the day, but with sunshine that has cleared the road in front of our house.  DH was able to navigate the hill and get to the grocery late today for some last-minute things.  And it looks like we will be okay to get to Nashville tomorrow to see the grands and the great.

We have been facing intermittent power blips all day long, about every 10 minutes, that interfere with the furnace functions so that the temp inside the house has dropped to 63.  And internet service cuts out and has to reboot every time it happens. So I'm hitting post right now while have service.

Day 22

Thursday included more gift-wrapping along with a bit of last-minute stitching and planning a special surprise.  Sister-in-law arrived safely in the afternoon.  I only went to the studio once to put some things away.

Another Welly band-aid was the Advent treat.  I wish we had such cute bandages when my kids were little!  Only two more drawers to open 😢.  What a fun adventure this has been!   If I'm careful I may be able to safely store the cardboard construction for next year.

It's bitterly cold as I write this morning -- negative 2 with wind-chill much lower. We've had a light dusting of snow, the back door is frozen shut, and the power just blipped.  We have a generator so no worries.  Glad we don't have anywhere to go today.  I have a couple of last-minute stitching projects to work on in between baking some cranberry orange bread.

Hope youall are staying warm and dry.  I wish you safe travels and blessings for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Day 21

Another do-nothing day.  Well, mostly -- I did move all the wrapping supplies from one guest room to another so that I could get the bed made for my sister-in-law who arrives tomorrow.  I wrapped a few gifts and filled stockings.  And I made a last-minute drive to the local grocery for Yukon Gold potatoes that I will need over the weekend when stores will be closed.  All they had was a 5-pound bag so I will share with my daughter-in-law who will be entertaining their kids and the grand for almost a week.

Today's Advent treat was a combo creative/useful gift.

The lens wipe will go into our travel supplies, and the mini ornament will hang on our antique candelabra tree where I put many of our small hand-made ornaments.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Day 20

The countdown continues!  How did Christmas manage to slip up on me this year?  I'm so unprepared, but I've done enough that I'm not a total loser.

Today the Advent tree yielded yet another of GDIL's magical paper crafts.

It reminds me of Elizabeth Hartman's Hazel the Hedgehog.

Another non-productive day.  PT was rescheduled for early this morning so I was able to fit in some last-minute shopping afterwards.  The good news is I'm through with physical therapy, at least until symptoms reappear which, if I keep up with my exercises, should not happen.   My goal is to stay strong enough to operate the new longarm and that should be incentive enough.

We are going to be suffering weather whiplash this week -- 47 Thursday afternoon to negative 1 by Friday morning.  Could even see a few snowflakes.  I just hope it doesn't interfere with family travel coming from the NE and the deep South. We are keeping our options open.

Day 19/4

 Yesterday's Advent photo was slow to load and then I forgot to write ... sigh.

Another travel aid that will be put to good use next year.

The day was spent attempting to wrap up Christmas shopping but I still have some holes in my list. 

I don't think I darkened the door of the quilting room.  Hoping to catch up today.  Thanks to all of you who encouraged me on my tension issues.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Day 18/3

The third Sunday of the month is a busy day at church.  I am the litergist (making announcements, reading scripture, etc.), DH counts the collection plate, and we both clean up after coffee.  It's easier to remember if we do all our chores on the same Sunday!

The rest of the day I piddled a bit in the studio.  I advanced the Christmas quilt on the frame but didn't take a stitch in it.  

Even though I had adjusted both the thread and bobbin tensions, I am still pulling the bobbin thread up.  I decided it was not objectionable enough for me to worry about at this point.

I trimmed the baby quilt and made the binding.  I also prepped some pieces for a little stocking-stuffer project (more on that later).

The treat from the Advent tree was peppermint candies, something we both enjoy.

Only one week left!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Day 17/2

The baby quilt came off the frame this morning.  It's very amateurish, but the baby will never know.  I practiced a few things ... a gentle meander with some loops,

... some wishbones,

... and some butterfly loops.


I attempted to follow the zigzags in the panel, not very successfully.  I did best with the channel-lock straight lines.

Anyway, it's off the frame, waiting to be trimmed and binding added.  Whew!  This afternoon I filled a bobbin and loaded a new quilt all by myself.

I did a test run with the new bobbin and it appears either the top tension is too tight, or the bottom is too loose.  A problem for another day.

The Advent treat for Day 17 was a holiday refrigerator magnet.  Our GDIL is a wizard with her paper-cutting machine.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Day 16 -- Day 1

So today is the 16th day of Advent and our treat has already been consumed.

Chocolate and mint -- one of my favorite combos!  DH didn't complain, either.

On the quilting front, this was my first day on my own with the new longarm.  

 Not sure why I have missed stitches in the midst of an otherwise perfect pass.  I obviously missed some points in the hasty training after the day-long installation yesterday.  I think I unstitched as much as I stitched today.  The digital manual and videos are proving very helpful, though and I am not discouraged.  Just taking it in small bites.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Day 15 - Welcoming the New Arrival

 But first ... another photo of our darling GGD ...

Today was the day I've been waiting for since the end of October - the new baby arrived, still to be named.

The first quilt has been loaded and the fun has just begun!

Day 14

The morning of Day 14 was spent packing the only box to ship to Arkansas this year; the rest of their gifts are shipping via Amazon. Since the rest of the family is coming to Tennessee this year, I have a bit more time to get their gifts in order.

We opened our Advent treat early so that the picture had time to download, then I forgot to post.

I get the feeling dear GDIL is trying to keep us healthy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Day 13 - The Christmas Mouse

Well, it appears the Christmas Mouse ran off with our treat for today.  

So I'll just show you my progress in the studio.  

I rearranged a few blocks then assembled the last three rows of the Women of the Bible quilt quilt.  They still need to be added to the first three rows and then I will count it done.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Day 12 - Almost Halfway There!

The morning was spent updating the Christmas card list, printing labels, and filling the envelopes.  All were deposited at the downtown post office before the last pickup.  Whew, one more thing off my list!  A stop at the clinic to pick up my bone density results (not too bad for an old woman) and an hour of physical therapy filled the rest of the day.  DH made dinner!

Today's Advent treat -- I know that's why you are really here -- is a mini-foldout photo spread of GGD.

It contains one of my favorite moments taken about 6 months ago ...

The daycare she attends celebrates birthdays with theme parties and the party this day (not her birthday) was a spa day (note the kimono robe).

OK, you may be wondering why the PT?  I've been having some issues with my middle back since April, mostly when I drive long distances (as I frequently do), and I want to improve my flexibility and strengthen my back to be in shape when the new baby arrives -- a longarm machine, due to arrive on Thursday (weather permitting).  So now the secret is out!

More about that once it's installed.  My day in Nashville on Saturday was my first training session.  One of the other ladies in the class, as it turns out, lives in the Glade also so I will have a compatriot to compare notes with.  Can you hear me breathing a little easier?

Tomorrow I will be prepping the room for it's arrival.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Day 11 - Another Day of Recovery

Totally wiped out by my daylong venture to Nashville and back yesterday, I skipped church this morning.  Our upstairs HVAC quit working overnight so I offered to be the one to stay home and supervise the repairs (as if I had any inkling of how any of that works ...).  Besides, I was planning to go to a second service this afternoon to install our new pastor.  Turns out a wire had shorted out and the repairs were covered under our warranty!

So I basically vegged out for the day with the exception of doing two loads of laundry.  And, of course, collecting the Advent treat for the day -- candied ginger.

I guess I need to look for recipes.  There are many health benefits in ginger.

Day 10

 Sorry this post is a little late; yesterday I was on the road much of the day.  I will report on that trip later this week.

But, since I know you can't wait to find out what the Advent Tree revealed ... 

... a T&H organic hard candy and a color-coordinating designer band-aid.  Gotta admire GDIL's creativity in finding small objects to fit in the tiny top tier of drawers!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Day 9 - A Day With No Obligations

Every once in a while it's nice to have a day when you don't HAVE to do anything  -- no doctors, no PT, no luncheons,  no shopping.  Yet, there are always things that need to be done ... like clean up the family room. 

I threw out a lot of old photos that had no significance.  I took several things back to the sewing room that didn't need to be upstairs.  I hung the Christmas swag on the fireplace...

Then I spent the remainder of the afternoon looking for a missing file that I need for tomorrow.  I looked everywhere I could think of -- between piles of papers, inside miscellaneous bags, in the guest room bathrooms (I was getting desperate).  It was found and a wine celebration followed.  (Actually, the wine accompanied the search.)  

The Advent Tree revealed a sweet photo of GGD

Can't wait to see her in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Day 8 and Quilt Progress

I'm happy to report that a couple of afternoons in the sewing room resulted in a partially finished Women of the Bible quilt.

Begun at the beginning of the year, the top three rows of my interpretation were assembled in time to take to our Devo Christmas Lunch today for show-and-tell.It was fascinating to see the variety in fabric choices and block placement among those that were shown at the party.  

Once home from the day's festivities, DH and I unlocked another drawer on the Advent Tree -- a sweet wreath ornament made by our talented grand-DIL to add to my little tree of treasures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Day 7

A day to sew!  No photos, though.  Hopefully tomorrow.  I am supposed to take my Women of the Bible quilt (in its current condition) to the Devo Christmas party tomorrow, so I spent most of today deciding on a layout and beginning assembly.  I hope to have half of it ready to show.

The Advent Tree yielded a couple of tasty marshmallows.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Countdown Day 6 and Memories

 Today's tiny drawer revealed ...

Always nice to have on hand when traveling.

Speaking of traveling, it's humbling to see family heirlooms prominently used in our sons' households when we visit.  On our recent Thanksgiving trip to Arkansas, Son-2 was busy decorating for Christmas.  The tree skirt my mother made in his birth year is one of the first things to come out.

I still have most of the brown paper templates she used to make this.  My mother-in-law's handwork and art are prominent during the holidays.

This little quilt is one of the first things I finished when I started quilting.

And a couple of years ago I added this Advent Tree, embellished with stockings from Cracker Barrel.

Wishing everyone a happy St. Nicholas Day.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Countdown Day 5 and the Christmas Mouse

 Today the Advent Tree contained an interesting condiment ...

I tasted it, very salty, but not spicy.  Recipe suggestions would be welcome.

After a trip into town this morning for my bone density screening and a stop at the local grocery for things Kroger didn't have, I spent the rest of the afternoon decking the living room.

That's pretty much the extent of my efforts when we are not anticipating company during the holidays.  The little tree is decorated with "annual" ornaments and remembrances of our cruises and trips to the mountains.

There is one special ornament that hides among the branches.

Can anyone explain to me why it's important to have a mouse on your tree?  My mother insisted, but I don't remember why.  I checked the internet but only came up with recently published stories about a Christmas Mouse.

Countdown Day 4

 Sunday is always a busy day for us and this one was no exception.

Lots of extra activities at church, highlighted by misprints in the bulletin that involved flipping back and forth between pages to follow a responsive affirmation.  We have a new secretary ... she'll learn.  Good thing our new pastor is flexible and has a sense of humor!

After lunch with church friends at Ruby Tuesday, we proceeded to our local cultural treasure, the Cumberland County Playhouse to see a production of Johnny and the Devil's Box.  This is an original musical that has the potential to make it to bigger stages, so watch for it.

OK -- so the 4th treat on the Advent tree is ... wait for it ... a ... refrigerator magnet, compliments of GGD Cooper (I think).


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Countdown Day 3

It was high time I started decorating, so I pulled out a few boxes and put up a few things.  I don't remember it taking this much effort when I was younger and had kids to help me.  I concentrated on the living room today.  

I'm embarrassed to say that this Christmas wall hanging never came down after last year.

The creche and a few miniature manger scenes fit nicely on the table below.   The "fancy" stockings have a home on the living room fireplace.  The ones Santa will fill will be in the family room.

The Advent tree yielded a very welcome treat after the efforts of the day --

Yes, I needed that after hauling boxes up from the basement and digging through closets for missing items.  Note to Self:  have a better plan for next year!